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Release: Dec. 11, 2002

Agricultural bioterrorism expert to deliver lecture Dec. 17

As a leading agricultural state, Iowa is a potential target for agroterrorism attacks. The deliberate introduction of a virulent disease to livestock or crops could seriously impact the nation's economy and food supply, yet most farmers and producers have few safeguards in place.

On Dec. 17, Radford G. Davis, D.V.M., assistant professor of public health at Iowa State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, department of veterinary microbiology and preventive medicine, will present "Agroterrorism: Increasing Awareness and Preparedness." The free lecture will be from noon to 1 p.m. in the Raymond R. Rembolt Conference Room in the Center for Disabilities and Development (formerly University Hospital School) at the University of Iowa. The lecture also will be broadcast over the Iowa Communications Network.

"Dr. Davis will discuss the vulnerabilities of the U.S. agricultural system and how these can be addressed to lessen the impact of an agroterrorist attack," said Gregory Gray, Ph.D., UI professor of epidemiology. "This is a topic that farmers, veterinarians, health professionals and law enforcement all need to be aware of."

Davis has lectured widely on agroterrorism and is the assistant director of ISU's Center for Food Security and Public Health. Under the Center, Davis is working on a national campaign on zoonotic disease education and awareness for the veterinary profession and the general public. He also is helping to develop the Public Health Auxiliary Support Team for Emergency Response (PHASTER), which bolsters the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's emergency response capabilities to a public health crisis.

The presentation is part of the Grand Rounds series sponsored by the Iowa Center for Public Health Preparedness (ICPHP), based in the UI College of Public Health. Advanced registration for the lecture is requested and may be completed online at

The public health Grand Rounds series is sponsored by the ICPHP and the Iowa Association of Local Public Health Agencies. The ICPHP is funded by a grant from the CDC through a cooperative agreement with the Association of Schools of Public Health. For more information about the Grand Rounds series, contact Shari Heick at (319) 335-6994.